Italy Improves with age like a good vino

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Europe » Italy
May 31st 2015
Published: June 6th 2015
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Italy gets better with age

Over the hills and across the plain.

Well something like that.

From Menton at the Italian~ French border - its a quick up up and away with Skippy heading toward Cuneo. From Sea level to 2800 odd meters in about 2 hours called on Skippy’s torque and there is always plenty there. Lots of changed up down and all around through the 6 speed boitre.

At the 2800 meter summit we stopped. Roadwork restricted traffic to one way at a time. So we waited about 25 minutes. So we got a chance to stretch out legs and observe snow on the adjacent peaks – on 31st May. Had a chance to talk with an French lady with socialist leanings who presently has a son in Byron Bay. She was dirty on the situation where he had thrown in his good job with AXA and was working as a dog’s body in Byron Bay for a pittance etc etc. To shut her up, I put the question - Why do people go to Byron Bay? And the answer is of course –‘ to do drug”s.

The traffic lights changed to green and we moved on.

Soon we got down of the lofty peaks . It was easier going down.

Then onto the plain towards Cuneo. Once on the plain, where crops are equally abundant as across central France , and arguably just as easily worked on flat arable land. I would be interested to see which farms have the better yields. In France the paddocks are bordered by hedges or stone fences, where as in this part of Italy there are no similar dividing fences.

Perhaps its different in other regions.

The roads are not as good as in France. With Italy now having a long term socialist experiment, you can start to see what will happen when neglect of maintenance on basic infrastructure like existing road surfaces goes on such as is we had allowed the Bligh experiment to continue. The Italians ( and the French) complain of corruption within their governments for failure or complication of basic services. I can see what they mean when we allow powerful lobby groups to corruptly sway elected reps to use power to provide unearned benefits to a lobbying constituency such as overbearing trade unions. Neglect of roads, rail and other basic infrastructure in areas say west of the Great Dividing Range while at the same time corruptly loading the public service payroll with payroll positions rather than real jobs, and so draining public coffers simply to deliver on a promise to made to public service union lobbyists has shown us what can happen in a short time. When those corrupt deliveries of payroll positions rather than productive jobs are paid from the public purse, the basics suffer. Economic infrastructure goes backwards rather than being improved.

Imagine if that neglect to rural roads that happened under Bligh was allowed to happen over even more decades, and you have a view of what Italian rural roads are like now after decades of socialist experiment.

But the road was straight. So we bounced from pothole to broken bitumen and water ravaged substrate, and onto the next pothole across the plain. In many places signs have been erected to warn of damage to tyres.

The towns we pass through are interesting. Modern houses are randomly scattered amongst a traditional older – often tall farm buildings. There is usually a substantial farm house with a number of old and new barns and sheds of all shapes and sizes. Construction is usually of some masonry material, where at home we would see corrugated iron.

The towns vary in appeal. Some look quite prosperous and thoroughly alive while others look a bit shop soiled. Re alignment of main roads, usually many or decades ago, has meant that some towns bypassed by a main road appear to have grown.

Eventually we find a campsite in Cremona. More or less in the middle of northern Italy. A nice campsite beside a park alongside two other French camping cars settles us down to a pleasant night. The town is quite lively even though its a public holiday. The presence of people in the park displays a relaxed approach to life, and their numbers portray a depth wellbeing in the community.


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